Journal of Indian Philosophy 44 (2):303-323 (2016)

The aim of this article is to reconstruct the classical Sāṁkhya view on the relationship between a word and its meaning. The study embraces all the extant texts of classical Sāṁkhya, but it is based mainly on the Yuktidīpikā, since this commentary contains most of the fragments which are directly related to the topic of our research. The textual analysis has led me to the following conclusion. It is possible to reconstruct two different and conflicting views on the relationship between a word and its meaning from the classical Sāṁkhya texts. The first view, the source of which is the Yuktidīpikā, is that all words are conventional in their origin. It resembles the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika theory of the primary linguistic convention and the conventional origin of all words. The second view, which is the implication of the Sāṁkhya idea of the authorless Vedas we can reconstruct on the basis of the majority of the classical Sāṁkhya commentaries, is that the relationship between a word and its meaning is natural. This view is probably influenced by Mīmāṁsā. Both of these views are hardly compatible with the Sāṁkhya teaching. It seems like classical Sāṁkhya, not having created its own detailed theory, oscillated between different conceptions.
Keywords Sāṁkhya  Language  Word  Meaning  Primary language convention
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-014-9264-1
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References found in this work BETA

Indian Theories of Meaning.K. Kunjanni Raja - 1968 - Philosophy East and West 18 (1):104-105.
The Theory of Practice and the Practice of Theory in Indian Intellectual History.Sheldon Pollock - 1985 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 105 (3):499-519.

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The Yuktidīpikā on the Origin of the Vedas.Ołena Łucyszyna - 2020 - International Journal of Hindu Studies 24 (2):239-256.

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